Teachers Blog

Are Your Studio/Teacher Relationships a Nightmare?

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 10, 2015 1:18:00 PM / by Erin Aquin

5638599313_4c908c53f6-e1374762136896-173929-editedThe Studio Owner's Perspective

I few months ago, I was talking to a friend of mine who just opened a studio. Within a short period of time, she went from being this bright-eyed owner who wanted to serve her community to an over-booked, exhausted human "to-do" list.

First let me say, my dear friend is an intelligent and thoughtful woman who knows a lot about both yoga and how to run a business. She didn't just wake up one morning and hang a shingle. Her studio came from a well thought-out plan and her business is growing every day.

The source of her frustration, was actually in large part her staff. She hired a group of teachers whose classes she enjoyed, but quickly found were lacking professional skills. More and more often she found herself constantly having to rush in and teach at the last minute for instructors who fell ill or just plain forgot to get their classes covered. 

Another studio manager recently confided in me that she has teachers on staff who actually sub out more classes than they teach and she has no idea how to get them to commit.

Let me get on my soapbox for a moment.

I may be an old school gal here, but I couldn't imagine flaking on my classes or acting in an unprofessional manner. Teaching is my career and while it is true that we all get sick and need to build in vacation time, we also must take our classes seriously. Part of your job description as a yoga teacher is to embody the self-care you promote and stick to your word. This means that you take preventative measures against illness and burn out and you show up for your students.

Trust me. If you are hit or miss with your attendance as a teacher, your students will eventually stop making time for your classes. Recognize the great respect your students pay you each time they show up to class and in turn, make sure you show up for them. 

The Teacher's Perspective

Before I start to get yogi hate mail, I will offer another side to this story. For the first seven years of my career, nearly all of my classes were in studios. In that time I witnessed some devastating things transpire. From owners who withheld thousands of dollars from their staff while still paying themselves to managers who skipped the line of seniority to grab prime time teaching slots for themselves, there are plenty of reasons for teachers to feel cynical about working in a studio.

Many instructors feel disrespected by the studios they work for. I too have felt that. There is a sense that you as the teacher are holding the most important relationship with the studios clientele. Your regular students came to see you after all and that does make you feel special and appreciated. If however you walk out of your class and don't feel you are being treated with any appreciation from the staff at the studio or on your paycheque, the contrast can be devastating.

One Major Issue

While I can't speak for everyone, in my own experience and from listening to a lot of stories from both sides of the fence it all boils down to trust. Trust can be really hard to come by especially if you feel you have been burned in the past by the person you are working with. Normally this is the part of the blog where I would give you some handy tips and time tested ways to build this for both parties, but today, I want to hear from you. I have created a survey to find out what you think needs improvement in the studio staff/teacher relationships. 

I have no doubt there will be some surprising discoveries so if you would be so kind as to give me 3 minutes of your time so we can dive deeper into this issue. As a thankyou for taking part, I will be gifting one 20 minute coaching session to a lucky winner. 

Take the Survey Share Your Thoughts Win a Prize

If you think there is anything I missed on the survey, please feel free to share your comments below or email me: erin{at}





Topics: yoga teacher